“Turns out, creating a logo that represents a city with nearly 350 years of history is difficult,” said Brendan Quinn of Philadelphia-based branding agency 160over90. “There are cliches to avoid (I’m looking at you, cheesesteaks, Rocky, and Liberty Bell), and just as many fascinating stories that are just too obscure to a general audience.
“So we looked at the history, the people, and this place for inspiration. Digging through the museum’s artifacts, we found this map of William Penn’s original plan for the city.
“It was a tight, orderly grid with interspersed parks — Penn’s vision was for a “Greene Country Towne.” That street plan still exists in what is now called Center City between Vine and South Streets.
“So the project’s designer, Adam Garcia, began sketching versions of Philadelphia’s grid.
“We all liked this hand drawn version, as it echoed Penn’s original map while also containing the slight imperfections that make Philadelphia so unique and interesting. The final piece was adding type. And just like Philadelphia itself, that confining grid ended up giving the logo its distinctive character. Here’s the final product:”